Greater City Providence

Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – March 14, 2016

Proposed buildings on two surface parking lots

[alert type=”muted”]Downtown Design Review Committee
MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2016 4:45 PM
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903[/alert]

drc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of January 11, 2016 and Special Meeting Minutes of February 16, 2016

New Business


Parking lot next to Grace Church along Westminster Street – Image from Google

1. DRC Application No. 16.05: 175 Mathewson Street (Grace Church) – Proposal by Grace Church to construct a new parish hall addition and stair tower.

2. DRC Application No. 16.06: 92 Dorrance Street (Dorrance Building) – The applicant is requesting approval for a sign installed on the Dorrance Street elevation of the building. The work was completed without DRC review.

Pre-Application Review

3. One Empire Plaza – Proposal to install new signage for Roger Williams University on the building. This item is for discussion only. No action will be taken by the DRC at this meeting.


Existing surface lot at 169 Canal Street – Image from Google

4. 169 Canal Street – Proposal to construct a new 10-story mixed-use building on the site. This item is for discussion only. No action will be taken by the DRC at this meeting.


[alert type=”muted”]Agenda [/alert]

Greater City Providence

Promoting the smart urban growth of the Greater Providence region.


  • Ten stories would be very nice at that location. But really, any building on that spot would be great and help address the sense of that particular area of Canal St being a dead zone.

    Looking around that neighborhood on both sides of the river, I see a lot of infill projects being proposed … this, Cap Cove, the triangle parcel. Now, when does some developer get serious about the giant lot next to Citizens?!

  • Always good to hear/see those words “proposed building on surface parking lot”. Ten stories sounds great too, hope it works out. As Sam mentioned, that lot behind Citizens is like a paved planet. Reminds me of Boston’s Seaport District before they started developing it. My Number one most hated open lot in the city is the one on on Memorial Blvd across from Capriccios where that picture of that latino guy is. Anyways, positive news.

  • This is great! Does Capital Properties own this lot as well? They are the company that owns the Citizens lot(s). There stock actually trades on the pink sheets (Symbol: CPTP). I’m skeptical that we are going to see anything big go into the Citizens lot that isn’t Citizens in the next couple years, but what do I know. It would just be such a good thing, it’s sounds too good to be true. It feels more likely that new office space would go on that lot before new residential units, and the office space market is horrendous in Providence.

    Ground level retail would be critical here. It would really liven up the area and connect the river fork area to the park. It would also connect the area to North Main Street’s restaurants. It can’t just be one large retailer though, it needs to be smaller spaces that run both along canal street and the side street connecting to North Main for it to be really effective. It has to be a destination area for retail/shopping.

    Adding residential units here would be great, since it would bridge current housing options on the East Side with Waterplace/Downtown. There is no longer a walkable “gap” between working and living areas. Getting rid of another parking lot is further great news! I really hope this goes somewhere, apartments here would be attractive since they sit close to the train station, colleges, and downtown.

    Agree on those empty lots on the back side of the financial district near Capriccio’s… those would make great lots for residence buildings, as well. I really like the idea of building up the population (and commerce) along the river — not just the main part of the “inner harbor” of the Providence River, but both the rivers that become the Providence River. There is no reason why there aren’t restaurants/apartments/retail that take advantage of the river in their design on both the West and North sides of the city. I’m talking about Olneyville mainly, but the river between the Promenade and the 903 would also be great as some kind of riverwalk. The current set up isn’t very good…and there is no retail, they’d need to completely re-do the design, but it would be something that connects that area to the Mall and downtown, and brings foot traffic away from the mall towards more independent businesses (that would presumably be operating there).

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